Rhein on Energy and Climate

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The decision by the US Senate to suspend its deliberations on the Energy and Climate Law, which had passed the House in the spring, should not be viewed as a catastrophe for American climate policy. The debate during the last few months reflects the deep-rooted opposition from very powerful business forces, above all the coal… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

2010 will be the hottest year registered since 1880. These are the provisional conclusions drawn by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on the basis of the data available for the first semester, including the meltdown of Arctic and glacier ice. Nobody can any longer dispute the long-term trend of global warming. The… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

Without a radical change of energy policy by the two major emitter countries of green house gases Humanity will not succeed in reducing C02 emissions to the levels required to stabilise the global climate. Both countries squander energy in ways unimaginable for the average European. This goes for all sectors of energy consumption, but in… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

The desperate efforts of finance ministers across the world to balance their budgets also produces some positive effects on the global climate. This is most visible in the recent moves towards phasing out subsidies on fossil fuels in developing and developed countries. These subsidies have been huge, in the order of more than $ 300… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

A recent Financial Times/Harris Poll is revealing on citizen’s preferences for government spending in the US and the five biggest EU countries. Contrary to common assumptions, citizens are afraid of big budget deficits. More than two thirds of those interviewed consider them as harmful to the economy. Even if there are differences between countries (Italy… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

An EU C02 Tax?

The EU Commission is rediscovering a very old acquaintance: an EU C02 tax. 20 years ago it has been the starting point for European climate policy. But the Commission proposal in the early 1990s failed to rally the necessary unanimity of the 12 member states that made up the Union at that time. This led… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein

In six months the 190-odd contracting parties of the International Framework Convention on Climate Change (IFCCC) will meet in Cancun (Mexico) for its 16th session since its creation in 1992. Their track record has been deplorable. Neither the unending number of expert and ministerial meetings, often in exotic places, nor the Kyoto Protocol has done… » read more

Posted by Eberhard Rhein